The term "lost classic" is applied liberally and often erroneously to unreleased recordings that resurface years later in a maelstrom of hype. However, for the forgotten mod rock also-rans the Action, the term is not only justified, it is painfully bittersweet. On par with such classics of the era as The Who Sell Out or Ogden's Nut Gone Flake but more focused than either, the Action's Rolled Gold goes beyond "lost classic" – it is the influential masterpiece no one was ever allowed to hear. Despite being signed to Beatles producer George Martin's AIR label and benefiting from a strong club following, the Action never scored a chart hit. By the time they recorded these demo tracks in 1967, the band had grown weary of the musically limited mod scene, which was on its last legs. Guitarist Pete Watson had been replaced by Martin Stone, and the band had developed a more mature sound, one only hinted at on such previous cuts as "Twenty-Fourth Hour".
This was the first album that tenor saxophonist Jimmy Forrest made after his R&B phase ended. Particularly notable is that the set served as the recording debut of guitarist Grant Green; completing the band are pianist Harold Mabern, bassist Gene Ramey and drummer Elvin Jones. The top-notch group performs two ballads, "Caravan" and three basic Forrest originals, including the title cut. The music is essentially melodic and blues-based hard bop that looks toward soul-jazz. Everyone sounds in fine form.
The greatest rock guitarist of all time, with a raw, blues-influenced style that brought fire and emotion to rock music unseen before or since. In his brief four-year reign as a superstar, Jimi Hendrix expanded the vocabulary of the electric rock guitar more than anyone before or since. Hendrix was a master at coaxing all manner of unforeseen sonics from his instrument, often with innovative amplification experiments that produced astral-quality feedback and roaring distortion. His frequent hurricane blasts of noise and dazzling showmanship – he could and would play behind his back and with his teeth and set his guitar on fire – has sometimes obscured his considerable gifts as a songwriter, singer, and master of a gamut of blues, R&B, and rock styles.
Grand Funk Railroad continued to move further into the pop/rock mainstream with this hit album. They are aided considerably in this aim by the ultra-slick production of Jimmy Ienner, a producer best known for his work with the Raspberries: songs like "Runnin'" and "Memories" boast rich yet punchy horn and string arrangements that beef up the group's sound without softening its energetic edge…
Among the highest selling artists of all time, Rod Stewart is known for his timeless charismatic style and rich, raspy vocals. Following on from The Jeff Beck Group and The Faces,Stewart embarked on a successful solo career. This collection contains some of his greatest solo hits to date, including the likes of 'Maggie May, 'Young Turks' and 'Handbags And Gladrags'. A previously unreleased track, recorded in 1998 and entitled 'Two Shades Of Blue'. 32 tracks in all.
Frank Sinatra turned 80 in 1995, and Capitol released this two-disc "best of" in celebration. Sinatra's initial tenure at Capitol, which lasted from 1953 to 1962, is generally considered to be his artistic watermark. His voice and technique had improved considerably since his initial peak of popularity in the mid-'40s (the "swinging" phrasing most commonly associated with Sinatra's style really came to the fore during the Capitol years); he also had the good fortune to work with Nelson Riddle and Billy May, whose inventive arrangements certainly brought out the best in Sinatra's singing. This set's song selection is tough to argue with, but you'll really need to get all of Sinatra's Capitol albums to gauge the true measure of the man's artistry. ~ Dan Epstein